silver

Weekly Google Plus 52 Silver 1 ounce Coins or Bars Giveaway

It is 2012 and we are giving away 52 Silver 1 ounce Coins or Bars.  Swiss Metal Assets is committed to bringing you the latest information on the Precious Metals and Rare Industrial Metals market.

Silver is a store of value and one of the critical metals according to the United States Geological Survey and the British Geological Survey.  Silver is so important to the world around us that we think that a weekly giveaway is in order.

Giveaway rules:

- Please Follow Swiss Metal Assets on Google Plus by adding us to your circles

- Please reshare the post you saw this Giveaway on in your Google Plus stream.

- As a comment please guess the closing price of Silver by Thursday at 1pm for the Comex Silver closing price on Fridays at 6pm.

- You can also help us out by giving us a +1 on our website, not required but we sure wouldn´t mind.

This is an international competition so everyone can try to guess the price weekly.  We are a German company based in Panama and we welcome everyone.

Battle lines drawn in gold price direction predictions

Precious Metal Gold

While some headlines are predicting the end of the bull market for gold, many commentators remain bullish on the yellow metal and all agree that more volatility should be expected.

GRONINGEN -

As gold prices plunged as much as 3.5% in trade yesterday, permabear and economist, Nouriel Roubini, was engaging in some gold bull baiting on Twitter.

“Gold at a 7 weeks [sic] low down to 1635. Where is 2000 gold dear gold bugs?” He said, and, later in the day, “Gold bugs in hiding as gold prices plunge.”

At roughly the same time gold mining entrepreneur Rob McEwen in a talk to the Geological Society of Nevada, stood firm on his prediction that gold prices would hit $5,000 over the long term

McEwen and Roubini represent polar opposite visions of the metal that are long held and well reported on and so their sticking to their guns came as little surprise. More noteworthy in the context of the second-worst rout in the metal since the 2008 financial crisis were the recent comments by author and economist, Dennis Gartman.

In his most recent letter, Gartman was quoted by Bloomberg as writing, ” “Since the early autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere gold has failed to make a new high. Each high has been progressively lower than the previous high, and now we’ve confirmation that the new interim low is lower than the previous low. We have the beginnings of a real bear market, and the death of a bull.”

He went on to add that while buying in China rose significantly in October, the news of the surge failed to move markets, “Buying of that sort should have sent gold prices soaring,” Gartman wrote. “One of the oldest rules of trading is simply this: a market that cannot or does not respond to bullish news is a bearish market not a bullish one.”

The question now becomes, are the recent falls a sign of a longer term pull back in the metal, or rather a shorter term move brought about by year-end squaring and liquidations by the more speculative longs, in order to cover other loss-making positions.

While Gartman has turned bearish, many other commentators remain positive about the longer term outlook for the metal.

UBS’s Edel Tully wrote this morning, “Our core view on gold remains bullish. We forecast an average 2012 price of $2,050. Most of the factors that pushed gold higher in 2011 are not going away. Indeed, a compelling case for higher gold returns next year can be built on: persistent sovereign stress, an expected recession in Europe, benign growth across developed markets, a relatively sedate outlook for competing asset classes, still-low interest rates in the US, and further rate declines in Europe, as we expect. Adding to the mix another of our expectations - that central banks will maintain their 2011 gold buying spree - makes gold a compelling investment thesis.”

However, while the bank remains positive on gold it has lowered its average gold price estimates for both 2011 and 2012 by 2% and 1% respectively to $1,570/oz and $2,050/oz.

And, overall, the group is more bearish on commodities in general, ” Two of our most important signals for the miners and commodities have turned negative. Capital is flowing out of emerging markets and back to the US, undermining commodity demand - because macro data and credit conditions there are improving, making an imminent commodity-supporting ‘QE3′ unlikely. Meanwhile, European bank deleveraging promises more credit stress, directing commodity consumers and traders to destock. Right now, commodities need support from either a resurgent China or a substantial, US/European-led QE programme.”

Standard Bank, writing in its daily commodities note yesterday said of the weakness in the yellow metal, We believe that this downward pressure is likely to remain in place. Physical market demand from India and South East Asia continues to pick up, with gold below $1,650 providing support at this key technical level. However, as pointed out yesterday, the pick-up in demand is from relatively low levels, and overall demand remains well below levels seen in October.”

But, as it points out, “While gold in dollar-terms is under huge pressure, gold in euro-terms only shed €20. Market sentiment and momentum has also turned bearish on gold, reflected in the short-dated gold skew where puts are in high demand relative to calls.”

Silver specialist and precious metals commentator, David Morgan, speaking on Mineweb.com’s metals weekly podcast, described the situation currently being seen in markets as one of “wait-you-out or scare-you-out.”

He explained that either markets will “scare you out” with huge drops that are very rapid - or “wear you out where you get these long consolidations where silver and/or gold do not make new highs but the fundamentals keep getting better and better.”

Currently he says, there is a lot of fear in markets and, while a minority of people view gold and silver as the “ultimate cash” most of the world’s population view currency as such and, as a result, when there is a liquidity squeeze markets move into cash.

“There’s a rush from any asset - real estate, stocks, bonds, even metals, and especially paper metals, into the monetary base or the ultimate monetary base which is the currency. And that puts a lot of pressure upward in certain currencies like the US dollar because right now it’s perceived to be the safest… I believe this is an intermediate term situation which puts pressure [downward] on the gold and silver price and also puts pressure upward on the currencies, especially the ones perceived to be the strongest and safest.”

All in all, while a lot of commentators remain bullish long-term there is a significant amount of fear present in markets, especially as we head toward the year-end. As usual coming up to and during the holidays emotions are high and when you mix in a continued crisis in the euro zone, looming debt problems in the U.S. and the frantic scramble to square the accounts before December 31st, it is safe to guess that markets are both scared and worn out. How long that will last though, is anyone’s guess.

By: Geoff Candy
Source: http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page33?oid=141729&sn=Detail

Buy Silver…Now!

Silver is an amazing metal…which is why it’s likely to soar over the coming years…

You see, silver has more than 10,000 uses. It’s one of the world’s best conductors of heat and electricity. Inventors filed more patents on silver uses than any other precious metal in the world. And when silver is used for most industrial and technological purposes, it is used up forever… It simply costs too much to try to recycle the tiny bit of silver from every cell phone or casino chip.

I’m not saying industry is going to use up all the world’s silver. That simply can’t happen. But scarcity is a real issue.

Our rapid consumption of silver leaves very little to meet any uptick in demand from investors. A spike in interest will send prices spiraling higher…

Here’s a breakdown of the silver market. The table below shows the percentage of the total amount of silver consumed by each category over the past four years…

As you can see from the table above, only 12% of the silver supplied to the market made it to bullion in 2010. That means only a little more than 100 million ounces of silver became bullion for the entire investing world.

That’s a tiny fraction to sop up all the investment interest in the world.

Of that silver, about 43 million ounces went to exchange-traded funds like the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) and the Sprott Physical Silver Trust (PSLV).

That means you could buy all the extra silver bullion for about $2 billion. We could buy all the surplus silver bullion from the last four years for about $10 billion.

That’s the same as the market value of the iShares Silver Trust today. If you wanted to build another silver fund, you couldn’t. There just isn’t enough silver bullion out there to fill the order.

Even trying to amass that much physical silver would send the silver price soaring. It’s a simple market fact… When there is more demand than supply, it drives the price up.

And the economic problems confronting Europe and the United States have increased interest in precious metals… Silver gained a colossal 174% from August 2010 to April 2011.

In May 2011, however, the price collapsed 31% in just four weeks. The bull market simply ran up too far, too fast… and the decline wiped out many highly leveraged silver traders.

The big money is tiptoeing back into silver.

Last month, commodity trading advisors, pool operators, and hedge funds — the “big money” — weren’t interested in silver AT ALL…

But as they move back into the market, silver prices could soar. Let me show you what I’m talking about…

Jason Goepfert created SentimenTrader, a service that tracks investor sentiment toward various asset classes. According to Jason, silver just bounced off its most pessimistic reading in four years.

The so-called “commitment of non-commercial traders” hit 10,352. That’s incredibly low. The last time sentiment numbers were that low was in August 2007. Six months later, the price of silver was 59% higher. It rose from $12 per ounce to $19 per ounce.

I went all the way back to 2002 and found that silver sentiment bottomed near 10,000 six times… On average, the price of silver rose 33% in the next six months and 54% over the next year. This chart shows the last four times it bottomed…

Here’s how the silver price performed after each of the last four times silver sentiment bottomed out…

The best return came after Bottom No. 2, which coincided with the US banking/credit crisis. Silver soared an eye-popping 405%, including its parabolic rise in 2010.

As those numbers indicate, silver is one of the most volatile assets in the world. Over the last year, silver has seen massive price swings, including an 81% rally and two 30% drops. That forced many traders to liquidate their silver holdings in order to meet emergency short-term requirements. (Plus, the debacle at commodity broker MF Global has scared many folks out of the market.)

But the long-term drivers of gold and silver’s uptrends are still in place. Enormous and growing Asian economies like China and India are getting richer…and they have deep cultural affinities for precious metals. Plus, the Western world has lived way beyond its means for a long time…the debts and liabilities it has taken on can only be paid back with devalued, debased money. This is bullish for “real money” assets like gold and silver.

With sentiment so negative toward silver (and just beginning to turn back up), it’s a great time to take a position in this long-term bull market.

If gold and silver prices are nearly certain to rise over the next few years (and probably rise dramatically), the simplest way to play that trend is to buy bullion…real, hold-in-your-hand silver coins.

And I recommend everyone do just that… Buy some silver and store it away.

Regards,

Matt Badiali ,
for The Daily Reckoning

Buy Silver…Now! originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning provides over 400,000 readers economic news, market analysis, and contrarian investment ideas.

 

Gallium Helping Us Stay Connected

Rare Earth Metal - Gallium

The element so instrumental in the success of CIGS or Copper Indium Gallium Selenide solar panels garners little respect. If you do some research on Gallium you will see very few articles on this element. What you see is people talking about how to make melting spoons, and talk of the metal melting in your hand due to its low melting point of 85° F or 29.8° C. Here we are going to go over the history of Gallium and its uses in technology today.

Gallium has the symbol of Ga and the atomic number 31 on the periodic table of the elements. In 1875 Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovered Gallium spectroscopically. He saw Gallium´s characteristic two violet lines. Gallium does not occur free in nature. Lecoq was able to obtain the free element using electrolysis.

Gallium is found in bauxite, sphalerite and coal. It is primarily extracted from Aluminum and Zinc production. The exact amounts mined and recycled are very difficult to quantify. According to the United States Geological Survey the total amount mined in 2010 was approximately 106 t and the total recycled was approximately 78 t. Gallium supply is highly reliant on other Aluminum and Zinc mining for its supply, when the prices of the base metals fall the amount of Gallium available will be highly affected. Similar to other rare industrial metals, mining companies will not invest in the production of these metals because the markets are so small.

The uses of Gallium are found all around you. Semiconductors, LED´s, medicine, electronic components, CIGS solar and new tech like IGZO (Indium, Gallium, Zinc and Oxygen) LCD screens. The new iPhone 5 will have this kind of LCD. Over 90% is used in electronic components in the form GaAs (Gallium Arsenide). Recently CIGS solar panels reached an unprecedented 20.3% efficiency once again proving that CIGS is the most efficient form of solar on the market. The technology that will greatly increase the use of Gallium is smartphones. Analysts predict that smartphone use will grow at a rate of 15-25% over the next several years. Recently LED´s backlit screen TV´s and computer monitors have been all the rage. The LED screen market will continue to grow, further putting strain on the small Gallium supply.

The top producers of Gallium are China, Kazakhstan and Germany. Once again China has a strong position in the production of a rare industrial metal. The difference with Gallium is that almost 40% of the metal produced every year is coming from recycling.

With all of the new technologies coming along using Gallium what will the market for this metal look like in a few years? Unlike some metals like Silver and Gold, Gallium is not traded on the LME (London Metal Exchange). This makes the price of Gallium very stable. Rare industrial or technical metals are small markets with big possibilities. So if you are looking for an investment that is rarely talked about, Gallium could be a good option.

 By: Randy Hilarski - The Rare Metals Guy

Silver bullion demand is skyrocketing in Australia

Investment demand to buy silver bullion in Australia is skyrocketing, according to Gold De Royale, Australia’s largest silver bullion dealer.

“With the US national debt crossing $15 trillion, investors are preparing for the worst-case scenario, hyperinflation,” according to George Vo, Sales Manager of Gold De Royale.

We have never seen this much demand for silver, with silver price at the perfect buying opportunity. Investors are doubling up their precious metal portfolio with silver bullion.

Investors do not want to hold money in banks these days, fearing a bank run. Moreover, the financial situation in the US is not getting better.

The so-called super committee in the US, who was set up to save $1.2 trillion, was not able to reach to any bipartisan agreement. Uncertainty in the US economy will lead investors to look for safe-haven investments, such as silver bullion.

“Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, sales of silver bullion have been very strong. For many silver investors, the white metal is seen as a more highly leveraged alternative to gold, with greater potential.”

Historically, the ratio between gold and silver has been in the range of 12:1 to 16:1. This meant that for each ounce of gold you could exchange it for 12 to 16 ounces of silver. Today, the ratio is near 50:1 as silver is undervalued relative to gold.

As gold price increases we will see that gap narrow. This provides investors a massive profit potential.

“Our market analysis is showing that the average price of silver bullion could rise to $45 an ounce in 2012, as investment demand is expected to support it”, said Gold De Royale. As investment demand increases, we could see silver reach higher than $50 by end of 2012. – Bullion Street.

Source: http://vietnambusiness.asia/silver-bullion-demand-is-skyrocketing-in-australia/

Silver Set To Reach New Highs

Silver Bullion

So what is the story with silver – did the bubble burst? Is it headed for $50 an ounce or more? What about the gold/silver ratio: Is it headed towards new lows or new highs and what does it really mean? What is the real supply and demand picture for silver?

Silver remains a precious metal despite years of being the “bastard stepchild” to gold. An attempt to corner the silver market drove prices to historical highs in 1980 and more recently towards $50 an ounce based on several proven and unproven factors including short covering of a reportable massive JP Morgan (JPM) short position inherited from the takeover of Bear Stearns, global economic concerns resulting from sovereign debt defaults to currency devaluations to political unrest.

Technically, I have a strong case that silver has been tracing a corrective pattern off of the 2011 highs which may be complete with the larger bull market advance in full force again. Fundamentally, the same story presents itself over and over again – silver is set to advance reaching new highs that will surprise and astound many.

HISTORY

Historically, silver has been an indispensable metal for over 5000 years. Evidence can be found in Anatolia (modern day Turkey) of the first major source of mined silver dates which back to 4000 BC and served craftsman throughout Asia Minor, the Near East, Crete and Greece. More sophisticated processing of silver was developed in about 2500 BC in what is now Armenia.

Fast forward eighteen hundred years to the Greek civilization where historical writings and physical evidence suggest the Laurium mines near Athens were producing about 1 million troy ounces a year. In fact, through the 1st century AD, the Laurium mines were the largest individual source of world silver production.

After the Greek domination in mining silver spread to Spain, the Punic Wars brought in Roman rule and the expansion of exploiting Spanish silver extended to other areas of Europe. Spanish mines provided for the domestic silver needs of the Roman Empire. Historical records though, suggest the actual production levels did not rise significantly even though mine production in Spain dominated the first 1000 years AD. Expansion in production took place in the 500 year period from 1000 – 1500 AD as mining locations increased and mining technology began to improve.

During the next 375 years silver mining and production was dominated by the Spanish as colonies were established in South America (Bolivia and Peru) and in Mexico. Eighty five percent of world production was attributable to Bolivia, Peru and Mexico. After 1850 production increased substantially as the United States and several other countries began mining and world production jumped from around 40 to 80 million troy ounces a year by the 1870’s.

The 20th Century ushered in an explosion of technologies that enabled world production to jump again to about 190 million troy ounces a year. Major mines were established in the United States, Canada, Australia, Central America and Europe. Technology introduced steam-assisted drilling, mining, mine dewatering, and improved haulage enhancing the ability to handle ore and increasing the exploitation of ores that contained silver.

As the 20th century progressed improvements in electrorefining techniques ushered in easier separation of silver from other base metals which increased the sources of silver. Ultimately the increase in output of silver-bearing residue led to refined silver production.

HOW SILVER IS USED TODAY

The demand for silver can be broken down into three main areas: Traditional, Industrial, and New Technologies.

  • Traditional
  • Coinage
  • Photography
  • Silver Jewelry
  • Silverware
  • Industrial
  • Batteries
  • Bearings
  • Soldering
  • Catalysts
  • Electronics
  • New Technologies
  • Medical Applications
  • Solar Energy
  • Water Purification

The latest annual figures reveal that in 2010 over 487 million ounces of silver were used for industrial applications, 167 million ounces were used by the jewelry market, over 50 million ounces producing silverware and over 10 million ounces in minting coins and producing medals.

Industry continues to rely on silver’s unique properties such as its strength, malleability and ductility. As well as its electrical and thermal conductivity, its high reflectance of light and the ability to handle extreme temperature ranges.

GOLD/SILVER RATIO

Under the direction and guidance of Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury the U.S. Government set the first formal gold/silver ratio under the “American Act for Establishing a Mint” in 1792 at 15 ounces of silver for every one ounce of gold or 15:1 The act was put in place to facilitate at what ratio they would coin gold and silver. Based on the relative value that was present in Europe the gold/silver ratio was used to reflect the commercial value of each metal. While this may have been the case in Europe it did not extend further east where in India, parts of Africa and East Asia the gold/silver ratios were reported as low as 1:1.

Beginning in the 19th century gold increased in popularity in Europe and the U.S. as a more stable monetary asset. By the end of the 19th century the demonetization of silver was well underway and picked up speed in the 20th century as most countries discontinued their silver from currency circulation and began dumping their silver stockpiles driving the monetary demand even further into the abyss.

The early 20th century saw the gold/silver ratio drop to 100 ounces of silver to one ounce of gold. It should be noted that at that time the mine production of silver was not 100 times that of gold nor was the abundance of silver money 100 times that of gold. The prejudice of governments and mints during this time predicated or perhaps manipulated the gold/silver ratio from 15:1 to 35:1 and as high as 100:1 as government dumping of silver took place. Records indicate that between 1965 and 2000 government(s) sold 3 billion ounces of silver versus 150 million ounces of gold. Currently, it is reported that governments hold only 60 million ounces of silver versus 1 billion ounces of gold. It would appear that silver is now more rare than gold.

Gold Silver Ration as of October 2011

Source: thechartstore.com

Today, the gold/silver ratio is still used by many to determine which metal is undervalued or overvalued, which in essence doesn’t make sense since the gold standard as a monetary system was abandoned and replaced by fiat currency systems around the globe. There are additional ratios between the precious metals such as:

Approximately nine times as much silver as gold is pulled from the earth each year. The majority of this silver is used by industry.

According to the United States Geological Service (USGS) the general belief amongst mining companies is that there is only about six times as much silver in the ground that is mineable, although there are published reports claiming there is 15 or 20 times more silver in the earth, (this ratio is the natural occurrence ratio and not the reserve base ratio.)

  • Over the past 10 years, approximately 40 times more silver was NOT earmarked for coins and bullion and this is what the price ratio of gold to silver tends to reflect.
  • 9:1 is the silver to gold annual mine production ratio
  • 6:1 is the USGS estimated gold to silver in the ground ratio
  • 1:1 is the year to date investment dollar demand ratio
  • 1:3 (more silver than gold) is the physical ratio of gold and silver coins/bullion

THE MID & LONG TERM PICTURE FOR SILVER

Supply and Demand

Undoubtedly supply and demand for any product will ultimately rule its price. That said the demand side for silver over the past year or so propelled prices to astounding levels. Investor interest and fabrication demand spurred by the industrial segment recovery easily offset the increase in supply.

Total silver supply rose by 15% in 2010 primarily on the return of producer hedging (61 million ounces), government sales (net sales increased with Russia being a major seller) and recycling where the decline in photographic scrap was balanced by a strong rise in industrial, silverware, and jewelry recycling. Mine production saw a very modest expansion of 2.5%.

Demand for silver was robust in 2010 as well. Industrial demand rebounded 21% and was the largest contributor to the 13% increase (879 million ounces) in fabrication (see inset for detail), which includes jewelry and coinage. Together the net increases in demand offset the continued losses in photography and silverware.

Net investment jumped by 47% to an all-time high of 178 million ounces (most of which took place within the last four months of 2010.) ETFs and physical bars ruled last year with the Comex seeing less of a commanding role via silver futures.

Pent up demand remains in the market as investors seek out “safe havens” when quantitative easing in the United States remains in the near term picture and European sovereign debt problems remain unresolved. The economic outlook thus far continues to support silver’s safe haven status as monetary policies are unlikely to be significantly tightened anytime soon and the sovereign debt crisis grows.

Silver’s Fabrication Uses

Industry: Silver is the best electrical and thermal conductor of all metals and so is used in many electrical applications. The most significant uses of silver in electronics are in the preparation of thick-film pastes, in multi layer ceramic capacitors, membrane switches, and silvered film in electrically heated auto windshields. Silver is used in the fabrication of photo voltaic cells, coating material for compact discs and DVDs, mirrors, and batteries. Jewelry and Silverware: Silver possesses working qualities similar to gold, enjoys greater reflectivity and can achieve the most brilliant polish of any metal. Photography: the age of digital photography has diminished silver’s usefulness within this sector. Radiography, graphic arts and consumer photography though continue to use film manufactured with a very high purity silver. Coins: Historically, silver was more widely used in coinage than gold, being in greater supply and of less value, thus being practical for everyday payments. During the latter 19th century silver was phased out in favor of gold. Investors though remain buyers of coin and bullion especially in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Mexico and Austria. Source: GFMS Ltd. World Silver Survey 2011

Silver (Physical)

After a stellar rally to nearly $50 ounce silver put in a needed correction. The correction itself consisted of two steep and at times precipitous declines separated by a three month upward biased sideways move. The correction did fit the profile and it appears that off of the 26.15 (September intraday low) silver has resumed the larger advance. However, without strong upward momentum it leaves open the possibility for an additional down leg taking place before prices head higher on a more sustained basis.

Technically, the long term charts continue to support and suggest additional downside remains in the picture for now. The stochastic oscillator is pointing lower and is currently in neutral territory. The MACD is beginning to register oversold and the MFI oscillator continues to show money is stronger on the buy side rather than sell side.

Silver Spot Price

The chart below (courtesy of thechartstore.com) reveals silver’s upside potential when prices have been adjusted for inflation (PPI) and suggests silver will reach $100+ levels over the longer term.

Silver Prices

iShares Silver Trust (SLV)

In contrast the weekly chart for SLV reveals a more convincing picture that the larger advance may indeed be back in force. The stochastic and RSI oscillators support the advance continuing over the midterm with MFI oscillator being the caveat; pointing lower indicating money is exiting rather than moving into SLV.

iShares Silver Trust

Silver Mining Companies

Some have argued that silver mining companies have lost their appeal (luster) and a check on the table below does show some dismal year-to-date returns. However, when compared to the outstanding and incredible returns on a two and three year basis the picture becomes much clearer. As in the physical metal itself, silver mining companies have been in the process of tracing out corrective patterns. The longer term supply and demand picture continues to support higher prices for mining companies as well. The companies included in the table below are focused (earn 50% or more of revenue) in silver mining and exploration with a market cap of $1 billion or more.

Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation (CDE)

Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation is the largest U.S.-based primary silver producer and a growing gold producer. The Company has three new, large precious metals mines that continue generating significantly higher production, sales and cash flow. In 2011, Coeur will realize the first full year of production and cash flow from all three of its new, 100%-owned mines:

  • San Bartolomé in Bolivia;
  • Palmarejo silver/gold mine in Mexico,
  • Kensington Gold Mine in Alaska.

In addition, the Company is expecting new production from its long-time flagship Rochester mine in Nevada. The Company also owns non-operating interest a low-cost mine in Australia, and conducts ongoing exploration activities near its operations in Argentina, Mexico and Alaska.

Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation

Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS)

Pan American Silver Corp. was founded in 1994 with the mission to be the world’s largest low-cost primary silver mining company. Achieving this by constantly increasing its low-cost silver production and silver reserves. Pan American owns and operates seven silver mines in Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. In 2010, Pan American produced a record 24.3 million ounces of silver. In 2011, the Company expects to produce 23 to 24 million ounces of silver and 76,000 to 78,000 ounces of gold. Pan American operates the La Preciosa silver project, located in Durango, Mexico. Pan American also owns the Navidad silver project, one of the largest undeveloped silver deposits in the world, located in Chubut, Argentina.

Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS)

Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW)

Established in 2004, Silver Wheaton has quickly positioned itself as the largest silver streaming company in the world. Silver Wheaton has entered into a number of agreements where, in exchange for an upfront payment, it has the right to purchase, at a low fixed cost, all or a portion of the silver production from strategically selected high-quality mines. The company currently has silver streaming agreements covering 16 operating mines and three development stage projects around the world. Silver Wheaton’s portfolio includes silver streams on Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in Mexico and Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project straddling the border of Chile and Argentina. With low fixed cash costs and unhedged silver sales creates significant shareholder value by providing considerable leverage to increases in the silver price while reducing many of the risks faced by traditional mining companies.

Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW)

CONCLUSION

Silver may indeed still be in a correction with an additional down leg on its way, but the longer term picture continues to favor the trend remaining up. Due diligence remains important for each investor to perform in accessing whether silver is appropriate in diversifying portfolios. Should additional price weakness drop prices below $30 (basis silver futures or SLV) a long term buying opportunity would exist. Silver mining stocks are an additional way to add silver to one’s portfolio. Here again due diligence is recommended in choosing which company is appropriate.

Both gold and silver remain important investment choices in protecting against the ongoing global economic calamity. Long term planning and portfolio diversifying should include the addition of both.

Again, I am drawn to quote an old Mercedes advertisement where the announcer states

“Perception is not always reality.”

This quote continues to rule the day as speculators flood in and out of the markets taking their turns at controlling the price, albeit short term, since there is much more paper silver than physical metal to cover the commitments. The price of silver has dropped (within the context of a correction) as the fundamental picture favors higher prices. It can then be said that misconceptions weigh heavily as traders (speculators) move in and out of positions.

By: Michael Filighera
Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/306118-silver-set-to-reach-new-highs

Gold Tops $1,800 in N.Y. as Europe Crisis Spurs Investor Demand

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) — Gold futures topped $1,800 an ounce for the first time in almost seven weeks on concern that European leaders will be unable to contain the region’s debt crisis, fueling demand for the precious metal as a haven.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi failed to muster an absolute majority on a routine parliamentary ballot today, fueling more calls for his resignation. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled more monetary stimulus may be needed to cut unemployment, while the European Central Bank last week unexpectedly lowered interest rates. Gold has rallied more than 11 percent since the end of September.

“The turmoil in Europe has brought the fear trade back to gold,” Lance Roberts, the chief executive officer of Houston- based Streettalk Advisors, said in a telephone interview. “Also, a renewed wave of policy easing by central banks is helping gold.”

Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.5 percent to close at $1,799.20 an ounce at 1:47 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,804.40, the highest since Sept. 21. Prices fell to $1,785.70 in after-hours trading.

Earnings growth in Europe will stagnate in 2012 as governments rein in spending and banks shrink their balance sheets, according to Gary Baker, the London-based head of European equity strategy at Bank of America Corp.

“Fundamentals are stronger than before, with the EU crisis more complicated than before,” Pradeep Unni, an analyst at Richcomm Global Services in Dubai, said in a report. “Retracements and corrections are possible as we climb above $1,800, but stay invested.”

Extended Rally

Berlusconi offered to resign as soon as Parliament approves austerity measures in a vote next week, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said tonight in an e-mailed statement after meeting Berlusconi in Rome.

Bullion is in the 11th year of a bull market, and futures reached a record $1,923.70 in New York on Sept. 6 as investors sought to diversify away from equities and some currencies. The precious metal has gained 27 percent this year.

Silver futures for December delivery advanced 0.9 percent to close at $35.153 an ounce on the Comex, rising for the second straight day.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery rose 0.9 percent to $1,673.10 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery climbed 2.3 percent to $677.25 an ounce.

-With assistance from Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne, Adam Haigh and Nicholas Larkin in London. Editors: Steve Stroth, Daniel Enoch

To contact the reporter for this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

By Debarati Roy
Source: http://www.businessweek.com/

U.S. Preparing for the Coming Shortages in Metals and Minerals

Many if not most metals, rare earth minerals and other elements used to make everything from photovoltaic panels and cellphone displays to the permanent magnets in cutting edge new wind generators and motors will become limited in availability. Geologists are warning of shortages and bottlenecks of some metals due to an insatiable demand for consumer products.

 2010 saw China restrict the export of neodymium, which is used in wind generators and motors. The move was said to direct the supplies toward a massive wind generation project within China. What happened was a two-tiered price for neodymium formed, one inside China and another, higher price, for the rest of the world.

Dr. Gawen Jenkin, of the Department of Geology, University of Leicester, and the lead convenor of the Fermor Meeting of the Geological Society of London that met to discuss this issue is reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, highlighting the dangers in the inexorable surge in demand for metals.

Dr Jenkin said: “Mobile phones contain copper, nickel, silver and zinc, aluminum, gold, lead, manganese, palladium, platinum and tin. More than a billion people will buy a mobile in a year — so that’s quite a lot of metal. And then there’s the neodymium in your laptop, the iron in your car, the aluminum in that soft drinks can — the list goes on…”

Jenkin continues, “With ever-greater use of these metals, are we running out? That was one of the questions we addressed at our meeting. It is reassuring that there’s no immediate danger of ‘peak metal’ as there’s quite a lot in the ground, still — but there will be shortages and bottlenecks of some metals like indium due to increased demand. That means that exploration for metal commodities is now a key skill. It’s never been a better time to become an economic geologist, working with a mining company. It’s one of the better-kept secrets of employment in a recession-hit world.”

There’s a “can’t be missed” clue on education and employment prospects. “And a key factor in turning young people away from the large mining companies — their reputation for environmental unfriendliness — is being turned around as they make ever-greater efforts to integrate with local communities for their mutual benefit,” said Jenkin.

Among the basics that need to be grasped to understand the current state of affairs are how rare many metals, minerals and elements really are. Some are plentiful, but only found in rare places or are difficult to extract. Indium, for instance, is a byproduct of zinc mining and extraction.

Economics professor Roderick Eggert of the Colorado School of Mines explains at the U.S. Geological Survey meeting indium is not economically viable to extract unless zinc is being sought in the same ore. Others are just plain scarce, like rhenium and tellurium, which only exist in very small amounts in Earth’s crust.

There are two fundamental responses to this kind of situation: use less of these minerals or improve the extraction of them from other ores in other parts of the world. The improved extraction methods seem to be where most people are heading.

Kathleen Benedetto of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representatives explains the Congress’ position for now by saying in a report abstract, “China’s efforts to restrict exports of mineral commodities garnered the attention of Congress and highlighted the need for the United States to assess the state of the Nation’s mineral policies and examine opportunities to produce rare earths and other strategic and critical minerals domestically. Nine bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to address supply disruptions of rare earths and other important mineral commodities.”

Another prominent session presenter Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey adds in her report abstract, “Deposits of rare earth elements and other critical minerals occur throughout the Nation.” That information puts the current events in the larger historical perspective of mineral resource management, which has been the U.S. Geological Survey’s job for more than 130 years. McNutt points out something interested citizens should be aware of, “The definition of ‘a critical mineral or material’ is extremely time dependent, as advances in materials science yield new products and the adoption of new technologies result in shifts in both supply and demand.”

The geopolitical implications of critical minerals have started bringing together scientists, economists and policy makers. Monday Oct 10th saw the professors presenting their research alongside high-level representatives from the U.S. Congress and Senate, the Office of the President of the U.S., the U.S. Geological Survey, in a session at the meeting of the Geological Society of America in Minneapolis.

Those metals, rare earth minerals and elements are basic building materials for much of what makes energy efficiency, a growing economy, lots of employment and affordable technology possible. Its good to see some action, if it’s only talking for now. At least the people who should be keeping the system working are sensing the forthcoming problem.

Source: OilPrice.com

Bismuth, Stepping Out of Leads Shadow

Today we hear much about the demise of lead and its uses because of its toxicity.  This will have a huge impact on the value of the rare industrial metal we will discuss today.  Enter bismuth, the brittle white metal an element symbol of Bi and atomic number 83.  Bismuth was discovered in 1783 by Claude Geoffroy the Younger.  This rare industrial metal is mined as a by-product of lead, silver, copper, molybdenum, tin and gold.  The element is 86% as dense as lead.  Bismuth is the most naturally diamagnetic metal meaning it is the most resistant to being magnetized.  Mercury is the only metal that has a lower thermal conductivity.  It also has a high electrical resistance.  Bismuth has been classified as the heaviest naturally occurring element.

One of the most interesting aspects of bismuth is its crystalline structure that forms a spiral stair step structure.  It is caused by a higher growth rate around the outside edges than on the inside edges of cooling bismuth.  The beautiful colorations of the crystals are caused by variations in the thickness of the oxide layer that forms on the crystal surface which causes wavelengths of light to interfere upon reflection.  When bismuth burns with oxygen present it burns with a blue flame.

Bismuths uses are growing all the time.  Some of its largest uses are in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, catalysts, metallurgical additives, galvanizing, solders, ammunition and fusible alloys.  The one most people associate with bismuth is, Pepto Bismol.  Lead-Bismuth Coolant is also used as a coolant for nuclear reactors.

There are a few issues that are causing alarm within the industries that use bismuth.  The first is that China is implementing export controls over all rare earth elements and rare industrial metals.  China produces about 80% of all the world´s refined bismuth.  The second issue is lead acid batteries will soon be replaced by nickel-cadmium and lithium-ion.  Lead mining is the main source of bismuth mining worldwide.  Crude lead bullion contains approximately 10% bismuth which is taken out when lead is refined further using the Kroll-Betterton or the Betts process.  This leaves us with 99% pure bismuth.  The long-term sustainability is in jeopardy because of the lead storage battery.  There is a distinct possibility that we will soon see this battery replaced.  Overnight 80-90% of the lead market would be gone.  This will be catastrophic for bismuth industries.  The mining of bismuth would then have to rely on its other sources which provide much less metal.  Recycling would have to be a major source of bismuth in the future.  The problem with recycling bismuth is that many of its uses, almost 60% in pharmaceutical and cosmetic uses, would make it very difficult to meet the demand.

Once again we have the story about a rare industrial metal that is used in so many products that we use every day.  How will this affect the end prices of these products?  History tells us not much initially, but in the future the story could be much different.  Bismuth with its many uses may be worth enough that mines open exclusively for this metal.  Recently the British Geological Survey 2011 put bismuth on its list of at risk metals.  Countries like Bolivia, Canada, Peru, Mexico and China will no doubt profit greatly if we have a significant rise in the value of bismuth.  How will you profit?

By: Randy Hilarski - The Rare Metals Guy
Source: www.buyrareearthmetalschinaprices.com

Why isn’t the Gold price going through $2,000 now?

Precious Metal Gold

The gold price went over $1,900 and looked as though it was going to mount $2,000, but since then has fallen back to $1,600 and is in the process of consolidating around the lower $1,600 area. It was expected that it would have moved a lot higher faster, but that hasn’t happened, yet.

In the face of Italy’s downgrade to A2 by the ratings Agency, Moody’s summary that, “There has been a profound loss of confidence in certain European sovereign debt markets, and Moody’s considers that this extremely weak market sentiment will likely persist. It is no longer a temporary problem that might be addressed through liquidity support, and several euro-area governments are increasingly affected by the loss of confidence.” The downgrading was expected, as are further downgrades for the different Eurozone members, shouldn’t the gold price be on its way through $2,000 to much higher levels?

The ‘downturn’

The news over the last few weeks has sent global financial markets down very heavily as a slow recovery morphed into a downturn and at best a flat economic future in the developed world. These falls have been accompanied by tremendous worries that there could be a major banking crisis that will cripple the Eurozone economy as a whole, not just the debt-distressed nations. In France growth is now at zero, in Greece it is somewhere south of a 5% dip in growth well into recession. Greater austerity simply adds to the fall in government revenues defeating their purpose of reducing their deficit. All of this implies an ongoing shrinkage of the Eurozone economy. This hurts investor capacities in all financial markets and wealth throughout the Eurozone. Cash becomes ‘king’ as investors flees markets to a holding position waiting for much cheaper prices before re-entering markets at lower levels.

The path to deflation is then made. Deflation in its early stages causes tremendous de-leveraging. That is the selling of positions to pay off loans taken to increase positions. It may come about because of investor prudence, banks calling in loans, stop-loss triggers and margin calls [where the level of debt against positions becomes too high and forces sales]. This often and particularly in the case of precious metals has nothing to do with the fundamentals of the market. It is simply the position of investors. This happened in the precious metal markets as well. This is why gold and silver prices fell.

De-leveraging

As was the case in 2008 and often through history, the process of de-leveraging is a short-lived one, even when it is savage. Once and investor has sold the positions he feels he needs to that downward pressure on prices disappears. Leveraged positions are the most vulnerable of investor held positions and can make up the froth or ‘surf’ in the markets, which cause the volatility levels to increase when dramas strike. In 2008 these positions were huge because there had been two and a half decades of burgeoning markets that encouraged greater risk taking. Since then, while leveraging has taken place it has been less and rapidly removed when dramas hit.

In 2008 we saw a similar drop in prices from $1,200 to $1,000 [20%], which equates to the fall from $1,910 to $1,590 [16.9%]. In 2008 the precious metal prices then slowly rose as buyers started to come in from all over the world. It took over a year for prices to recover back to $1,200.

Change in market structure

Today the shape of the precious metal markets is quite different, particularly that of gold. In 2008 central banks were sellers, today they are buyers. In 2008 the Chinese gold markets were small. Since then they have grown to such an extent that they are soon to overtake India. These are two dynamic features that give demand a totally different shape to 2008. More than that, the impact of the developed world long-term has diminished quite considerably. It now represents less than 21% of jewelry, bar and coin demand. The emerging world as a whole represents over 70% of such demand now.

The bulk of the world’s physical gold that comes to the market is dealt at the London twice daily Fixings. The balance that is traded outside the Fixings is the most short-term price influential amounts, producing the swings that resemble the waves on the seashore. It is these traders and speculators that often persuade long-term buyers to stand back and wait for the prices to swing to the point that persuades them to enter the market. The drop from $1,900 had this effect on investors. Now that the fall has happened we see a surge in demand from the emerging world to pick up the slack in the market. We have no doubt that central banks are buying the dips as well.

So once the selling from the developed world has stopped [emerging market demand waits for this before buying, allowing the fall to extend further] in come the buyers happy that they are entering the market at a good time. Because of this change in market shape we fully expect the market to take far less time to find its balance and allow demand to dominate.

2012 recession and the battle against it

The I.M.F. has just warned that the developed world will enter a recession in 2012. Will that be a negative for the gold market? We do not believe that it will. The world has seen the recovery peter out, has seen the sovereign debt crisis arrive and now sees the I.M.F. recommend that the Eurozone banks be recapitalized. What does this mean for precious metals?

Cast you minds back to the recapitalization of U.S. banks under the TARP measures whereby the Fed bought the ‘toxic’ debt investments of the banks against fresh money. When we say fresh we mean just that, newly created money in the trillions. This did lower the perceived value of the dollar inside and outside the U.S. The effect on gold was palpable as it rose back through $1,200 and onto new highs.

Already we are hearing rumors of an E.U. government minister’s plan to walk the same or similar road. With the recent past in mind, we are certain that that will lower the perceived value of the euro and see euro investors seek places to cling onto the value the euro still has. This time round we fully expect markets to discount these actions in the same way. The downturn will therefore be fought with new money creation in the same way the U.S. did it from 2008 on.

Second time round

There is a significant difference between 2008 and now. In 2008 the credit crunch was new to investors and shocked the markets into overreactions. In 2011 we are not shock but expectant of what lies ahead. In 2008 the developed world economy had considerably more resilience than it does now, so the situation is more serious and less likely to be believed as the panacea for the developed world’s economic crisis. Because the gold and silver prices rose so strongly after that time and in the face of those ‘solutions’ the same will be expected now. In 2008 confidence in the financial system as well as in the monetary system appeared unassailable, not this time. While the developed world, outside of the gold ETF’s in the U.S., has not been the main driver of rising gold prices, this time we would not be surprised to see their resilient confidence in their world snap and a frantic search for safe-havens follow.

Yes, if we see a repeat of the 2008 breakdowns in the near future they will slaughter remaining confidence in the monetary system and the ability of its governments to set matters straight. What then for gold and silver?

By Julian Phillips
Source: www.ibtimes.com

Silver Futures Near 31-Year Highs On Economic Recovery, Inflation Fears

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)-Silver futures neared 31-year highs Friday as investors flocked to the metal as both an inflation hedge and beneficiary of the global economic recovery.

Silver for February delivery rose 72.6 cents, or 2.3%, to settle at $32.298 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the metal’s strongest close since March 7, 1980.

“It’s riding on the back of gold at the moment, which is being driven by inflation fears,” said Stephen Flood, director of Dublin-based bullion dealer GoldCore.

Silver, a precious metal akin to gold, is benefiting as a hedge against rising consumer and producer prices, with inflation gaining in Europe and China. While inflation in the U.S. remains tame, some believe the Federal Reserve won’t be able to control longer-term price pressures stemming from ultralow interest rates-which also boost the allure of non-interest bearing silver and gold-and Fed purchases of U.S. Treasurys to stimulate the economy.

At the same time, the economic growth that is sparking inflation fears is also prompting a resurgence in manufacturing and consumer purchases. That’s a further boon for prices of silver, which is more widely used in manufacturing than gold.

“It’s benefiting from optimism on the global economy,” said Ralph Preston, market analyst at Heritage West Financial.

Silver’s use in electronics, solar panels and medical applications is helping offset declining demand for use in photographic film as digital photography becomes ever more ubiquitous.

Silver, which has gained 5.4% this year and 20.5% since a two-month low hit Jan. 25, would probably be at record highs now but for that spike in 1980, when the Hunt brothers of Texas famously attempted to corner the silver market and pushed prices above $40 per troy ounce.

“It’s a much more orderly market” nowadays, Flood said.

But as silver’s allure as an inflation hedge and quasi-industrial metal rises, short-term investors have been piling in, prompting some concern that the metal may be due for a big price pullback.

 Recent buying in silver has been a “fund feeding frenzy,” including a “camp that refuses to see it for being a bubble in the making,” Jon Nadler, an analyst at Montreal bullion dealer Kitco Metals, said in a note.

Silver is a short-term investor darling because it is cheap compared with gold prices, and its market is much smaller and more volatile than gold’s, increasing both the risk and the chances for quick profits.

“It continues to be the favorite of speculators,” said Bill O’Neill, a principal with Logic Advisors.

Investor interest is also surging in silver-backed exchange-traded funds, which trade like stocks and back their shares with bullion bought on the market.

Holdings in the world’s largest such fund, iShares Silver Trust, rose 1.611 million ounces in the week to Feb. 17. Zurich Cantonal Bank’s silver ETF reported silver inflows of 296,000 ounces over the same period.

In addition to the outlook on the economic recovery and rising inflation, silver is gaining extra support as a cheaper so-called safe-haven investment than gold amid worries about unrest in the Middle East and sovereign debt problems in Europe.

On Friday, Portugal’s debt problems were of particular concern as the cost of insuring Portuguese debt rose amid renewed pressure from within the euro zone for the country to seek a bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Amid the price gains, UBS upped its one-month silver forecast to $35 from $25.50. The bank also increased silver’s three-month price estimate to $33 from $27.

Gold and silver are also receiving a lot of attention from the physical market, particularly in Asia, where demand for metal bars, coins and jewelry is particularly high.

Some support may also be coming from silver miners boosting their hedging programs as they expand production and seek insurance against increasingly volatile prices.

-By Matt Whittaker, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2139; matt.whittaker@dowjones.com
-Francesca Freeman contributed to this article.

Higher Prices for Numerous Rare Earth-Based Consumer Products

Consumers can expect significantly higher prices for a variety of consumer goods that use rare earth metals as at least one raw material, according to Michael Silver, president and chairman of the board of American Elements, a global manufacturer of engineered and advanced materials including rare earth metals and chemicals.

“The U.S. consumer has no idea the number of simple everyday products that will be impacted by the huge jump over the last year in rare earth prices,” says Silver. “Over the past two decades rare earths have become essential to the state of the art version of hundreds of household goods.”

According to Silver, computers, cell phones and other electronics will see manufacturing costs rise as neodymium is in computer hard drives, cerium is in the monitor screens and other rare earths play a part in the electronics. Products that rely on small electric motors often contain Neodymium magnets which have increased many fold in price.

Possibly the biggest impact will be felt in the cost of the family car.

“Rare Earths are ubiquitous in automobiles, he says. “Cerium is in the window glass to prevent yellowing and used as a glass polish in production. Yttrium is in spark plugs. Neodymium is in the electric motors that run everything from seat adjustments to windshield wipers. Lanthanum is in the batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.”

He predicts higher prices will ripple through not just cars but all forms of transportation. The applications effecting automobiles will equally raise costs for other forms of transportation such as flight and rail.

Silver cites light bulbs as an example that consumers do not realize are affected by rare earth prices as Cerium is in bulb glass and Europium acts as the phosphor in fluorescent lights.

He predicts dental care costs will rise. Silver reports amalgam used to fill cavities is now based on a rare earth compound to get the new all white fillings to show up on an X-Ray the way the old metal fillings did.

Neodymium is used in modern welding goggles to remove glare. “Neodymium is a very magical material with many unrelated capabilities. When dispersed in glass, it prevents the wave length associated with yellow-green light from passing through, which is the wave length that causes eye damage,” Silver says.

Silver says the consumer will ultimately feel the pinch in cable television costs as well. Fiber optic cables run on EDFA technology which stands for ‘Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplification’, a technology reliant on the availability of Erbium which has skyrocketed in price. Existing infrastructures will not be impacted. New and replacement lines will.

American consumers may even be impacted at tax time. Silver says, “Our entire military equipment budget will increase due to higher rare earth costs and that will translate into higher government demand for revenue.” Rare earths are essential in the production of bullet proof vests (yttrium), night vision goggles (gadolinium) and F-35 and F-22 Fighter Jets, Bradley Armored Vehicle and AIM-9x Sidewinder missiles (neodymium).

American Elements is the world’s manufacturer of engineered & advanced materials with corporate offices and primary research & laboratory facilities in the United States and manufacturing & warehousing in the United States, China, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

September 27, 2011
(Source: PRNewswire)
By Rob Wynne

Why Buy and Store Metals Offshore

Storage Facility in Zurcher Freilager AG free zone in Switzerland

One of the most common questions I hear in the metals business is, “€œwhere do I store my metals?”. This question is often posed by a person, foundation or trust that is looking to secure their investments. Usually we hear about buyers of gold, silver, platinum and palladium who want to protect their assets but now there is a growing number of clients who are looking to diversify beyond the core metals we all know so well. How do we best protect our assets today with all the uncertainty? Here I will discuss why a portion of your metals should be stored offshore, and in what form works best.

What kinds of Metals can an Entity Store Offshore?
The metals people most often store outside of the country are gold and silver although experienced metals buyers might also buy platinum and palladium. Recently clients have been able to buy other rare industrial metals like tellurium, cobalt, molybdenum, hafnium, indium and tantalum. A few years ago the average investor would not have had the ability to buy some of these metals unless they owned a company that produced items which needed these rare industrial metals.

Why is it Wise to Store Offshore?
In the 1930′s during the Great Depression the US government confiscated all privately held gold. US citizens were not able to possess their own gold again until the 1970′s. Will we have a similar situation this time around with the world in its current state of transition? How is the US government planning on fixing this situation? Many countries are choosing inflation, currency devaluation, low interest rates and austerity measures. When these techniques fail to rein in the problems will governments turn to gold and their populations’ assets? One thing I know is that indium, cobalt, tantalum, tungsten and many of the other rare industrial metals and rare earth metals are on the critical metals list of the USA, EU, Japan, Korea and China. The question is whether rare earth metals and rare industrial metals will ever be deemed so crucial to economic and industrial applications that a country may decide to control the purchase of these metals. We see what China is doing with these metals and one must ask ones’€™ self, “€œCould these control measures spread to my country?”€.

The old saying, “€œdon’€™t put all your eggs in one basket”€, applies here. Clients commonly say, “€œI want to be able to touch my metals”€. This is great, and encouraged but the stress of knowing so much of your assets are under one roof can be too much to handle for the average person. The metals can possibly become a liability and risk to you and your family’€™s safety.

Why would I not take delivery of Rare Industrial Metals and Rare Earths?
Some clients may wish to take delivery of their metals. This can be done just like gold and silver but the big difference is that these metals are used in industry. When the client takes the metals to the broker they will ask for the metals to be assayed. This is the process of taking a sample and sending it to a lab to verify purity. Also when dealing with rare industrial metals the amounts can be quite large and take up a good deal of space. Some elements like hafnium are controlled because of its use in nuclear technologies and it cannot be transported internationally. The metals trader stores the metals for the client and upon request resells the metals.

How do I Store the Metals Offshore?
When researching where to store your metals make sure to do thorough due diligence. There are many options for the investor. The most common choice is a safety deposit box in a bank. Safety deposit boxes are the most widely recognized. They are great for small allocations of metals. Storing in your second home offshore is also a common choice. This is also good for the client who has a small allocation of metals. Offshore bank vaults are also an option but can be rather expensive. The best option for clients with medium to large amounts of metals is an offshore private vault or depository. The prices are reasonable and they offer unparalleled privacy. A good example would be the Zurcher Freilager AG free zone in Switzerland.

What about Taxes?
This is a complicated issue that needs to be addressed by a tax professional. Every country has its own tax rules which are far beyond my expertise. As far as the Zurcher Freilager AG is concerned, as long as the assets are sold within the free zone it is a tax free event.

What are you doing about securing your future? Every day we hear more and more about an unstable financial market, geo political uncertainty, governments overreaching and bad economies. Wouldn’t it be prudent to have your assets spread out across the world?

What is holding you back?

By: Randy Hilarski - The Rare Metals Guy
Source: http://www.buyrareearthmetalschinaprices.com

Silver Q4 Outlook

The silver has made impressive gains since the downgrade of US debt renewed fears about the global economy. Now sitting at a price of $42.34 per ounce, nearly its highest level since April when silver nearly reached its historic $50 per ounce high. The main factor holding silver back from matching the run up in price seen in gold is the industrial component to silver’€™s demand. Investors fear that a slowing economy will dampen the industrial demand component to silver.

Both silver and gold have upside potential as the global economy is unlikely to make a dramatic turnaround by the end of Q4. This is a key factor behind some of the world’s largest banks to revise their price projections for silver in the coming months.

Ongoing economic concerns
On top of the downgrade of US debt, an unexpected rise in jobless claims, as well as mounting speculation surrounding another round of easing measures from the Federal Reserve have added to the recent rally in precious metals prices.

Gold and silver are €œbeing lifted by expectations that the failure of the US economic recovery to gain traction will force the Federal Reserve to embark on a third round of quantitative easing, which essentially translates into printing money,€ reported Jan Harvey for Reuters.

Loose monetary policy has been the single most powerful argument of gold and silver bugs since the economic collapse of 2008. If a third round of quantitative easing measures comes from the Fed, most analysts expect aggressive buying of silver and gold.

The Eurozone is no better off. The ECB lowered its growth forecasts, which sent European shares falling early in the week. Growing fears of a recession and more evidence of political disunity in the Euro zone hampers the regions ability to solve the debt crisis.

Price forecast

Recently, UBS upped its price forecast for silver and gold, but warned that a correction to the precious metals rally is an increasingly possible scenario. The bank noted that volatile trades may come with rising margin requirements in Chicago and Shanghai, as well as ahead of Ben Bernanke’s speech on Friday.

Edel Tully, an analyst with UBS commented, “€œthose who have missed out on the last few hundred dollar rally in the gold price perhaps believe that gold is near its short-term peak. And instead of playing gold from the short side, they prefer buying silver.”

UBS raised its price forecast for silver for one month prices up from $35 per ounce to $46 per ounce, and three-month prices to $50 per ounce up from $33 previously. The key short term resistance level is the $44 per ounce mark. Silver yet to breakthrough $44 since pulling back from over the $48 highs in April.

For the long term, if silver can break through the $44 level, as UBS forecasts for the next month, then the $50 per ounce mark seems to still be the psychological resistance level for silver market observers.

One can only speculate what events will have to take place to break the high water mark for silver. The implementation of QE3 from the Fed? A meltdown of stock markets worldwide which would mark another economic collapse?

Regardless of the doomsday scenarios, the global economic recovery is not gaining traction. Further debt concerns and loose monetary policy will continue to support silver. If the key short term resistance level of $44 per ounce is breached, most analysts expect silver to continue upward to the $50 mark before significant profit taking occurs.

By Michael Montgomery
www.resourceinvestingnews.com
09/09/11

Alternative Metals to Gold and Silver

Rare Industrial Metal - Cobalt

The last decade has been a wonderful time for Gold Bugs and Silver Bugs. We have profited and protected our wealth against inflation. Gold has risen from around $250 per ounce in 2001 to a recent high of $1917.90 and silver has risen from around $5 per ounce in 2001 to a recent high of $49.81. These numbers are quite exciting for anyone involved in the precious metals markets. Being a Silver Bug myself, I have to admit the ride up has been rather erratic. Long ago I had to learn to ignore the daily Comex price of Silver. Gold and Silver will continue to be an important part of my future holdings, but going forward I am beginning diversification into other metals. Here is a brief overview of some of the rare industrial metals I like and why I believe they are a good choice for anyone who believes in holding physical metals as part of their asset strategy.

There are many who believe the world is in a recession and this may be true in the USA, EU, and other Western nations. There are a few of us who still believe that the speed of industry and commerce is accelerating. I have spent time in Africa, had an opportunity to live in Europe for a few years and I currently live in Panama. This experience has opened my eyes to what is happening outside of the USA. What I see is a great mass of people who were once walking now driving cars. These same people are talking on mobile phones, watching television on a flat screen, using their laptop at a cafe, getting better medical care, flying on vacations, living in modern homes and working jobs that require technology. This is happening across the planet! Can you imagine the impact on demand for rare industrial metals from countries of the BRIC, (Brazil, Russia, India, China), with the size of their populations? Like it or not commercialization was tested in the USA and was a huge success and now it has been exported worldwide. Here in Panama with a population of just over 3 Million we are adding 3000 automobiles a month to the roads. There are enough mobile phones in Panama to give every citizen 3 handsets. All of this takes a lot of natural resources and metals. Below are some of the important metals I would like to introduce to you.

Tantalum, the rare technical and industrial metal that gives technology the ability to be compact. Have you ever wondered why we no longer have to carry around mobile phones the size of a brick? The tantalum capacitor was a revolutionary invention for the world. Today you find tantalum in all of your personal electronics. Tantalum is now being used in in medical implants because it is non-toxic and does not react with body fluids. It is also used in jet aircraft as an alloying agent. Current worldwide production of tantalum is approximately 1160t annually. By 2030 just the demand is estimated to be 1410t. A few years back there was a lot of controversy surrounding tantalum because of its “Conflict Metal” tag. The metal was originally being mined in the Congo but most tantalum is mined in Australia, Brazil, and Canada.

Indium, how do you like that touch screen on your mobile phone? This rare technical and industrial metal has become a star among the elements recently. Indium’s uses in phones, computers, semi-conductors and televisions are well known. The one use that I would really like to highlight is in CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide) thin film solar cells. These solar panels are the latest technology to hit the solar industry. Recently we have heard India, Japan, USA, Germany, Spain and many other countries announce huge solar initiatives. India alone signed into law a US $19 billion plan to produce 20 GW of solar power by 2020. Under the plan, the use of solar-powered equipment and applications would be made compulsory on all government buildings, as well as hospitals and hotels. This initiative alone will use up all the entire world’s production of solar cells. According to the USGS 84% of all indium production is currently used in solar cell production. Current worldwide production of Indium is approximately 600t per year. The future amount of indium required will depend greatly on the solar industry. Indium is mined in China, Canada, Bolivia and Japan.

Cobalt, have you driven a hybrid or electric vehicle lately? This rare technical and industrial metal is the one of the elements that makes the batteries in these cars possible. Cobalt is also used in pigments, super-alloys, non-corrosive medical implants, dental implants and jet engines. The top use today is as an alloy to make metals resistant to corrosion. The one I see real promise in is the use of hybrid and electric vehicle batteries. By 2012 the estimated sales of hybrid vehicles worldwide is approximately 2.2 Million and by 2015 to be at least 10% of the world auto market. Currently the biggest hurdle to these vehicles is the added cost and the ability to produce enough batteries to meet the demand. Cobalt has gained a lot of attention since the London Metal Exchange (LME) launched a cobalt contract in February 2010. Current worldwide production of cobalt is approximately 57,500t annually. The future is bright for cobalt. Every aircraft that goes in the air and every hybrid vehicle sold will put greater pressure on the supply of this metal. Cobalt is mined in Australia, Congo, Russia, Zambia and a few other countries.

These are just a few of the metals that our world needs to operate and the future is looking great for all commodities. I like the rare technical and industrial metals because of the tight supply and all of the wonderful uses for them. The mining of these metals is often a by-product of base metal like copper, lead and zinc. Most of the large deposits have been found and are in production. This translates into a very tight supply for the future and profits for investors. Silver and Gold have been my metals of choice for many years, but I see great opportunity for the person who is adventurous and willing to add another asset to their portfolio before the masses catch on.

By: Randy Hilarski - The Rare Metals Guy
Source: http://www.buyrareearthmetalschinaprices.com